Jessica Chase says that writing music is all about being in the moment. She describes the seven songs on her first EP as making her “feel like she’s standing outside in the wind and leaves, and there’s a dark sky and a big rain storm coming.” It’s a dramatic mental image, anticipating all-encompassing emotion, and she captures the feeling well in her music.
There’s drama all throughout the sound: off-beat echoing drums, crescendos, and sighed harmonies sung by layers of her own voice. She cites artists like Ellie Goulding and Florence and the Machine as influences, which can be heard most readily in her vocal performance. A powerful, yet sweet, presence that strains with emotion and gains incredible power on the choruses.
She deals lyrically with a range of dating woes. “The Only One” is a hesitant admission to someone decidedly more interested that they aren’t the only person the narrator is seeing. “Long Haul Baby” details some emotional manipulation on the narrator’s part: lying every time she says “I love you” while admitting to herself that she doesn’t want to stay with the person she’s with. The songs deal in specific stories delivered with effective emotional truth.
The EP ends with a song called “God Made Lana Del Ray”. It claims that a list of people and material things, including mansions and Kanye West in addition to the titular singer, are touched with the divine. But the chorus closes with the phrase “but God didn’t make me”. This is either a claim for her own authenticity by suggesting she found her sound without otherworldly help, or a self-deprecating admission that she’ll never reach commercial heights.
Jessica Chase has more in common with the pop deities she’s distanced herself from than she seems to think. A great voice, clean production, and a bright pop sensibility will take her far.
Top Track: “The Only One”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)